Murder & Mayhem

Non-Fiction - Historical
192 Pages
Reviewed on 02/18/2012
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Author Biography

Award winning and critically acclaimed author Michael Thomas Barry is a graduate of Cal State Fullerton with degrees in Criminal Justice and History. His books include Final Resting Places Orange County’s Dead & Famous"(2010), Fade to Black Graveside Memories of Hollywood Greats, 1927-1950(2011), and Murder & Mayhem 52 Crimes that Shocked Early California, 1849-1949 (2012). He was the 2010 & 2011 USA Book News Best Book Awards (Finalist), 2011 Readers Favorite Best Book Awards (Silver Medalist), Indie Excellence National Book Awards (Finalist), JPX Media Group International Best Book Awards (Winner), and Los Angeles Book Festival (Honorable Mention).

Michael is a member of the Mystery Writers of America, Crime Writers Association, Authors Guild, American Society of Journalists and Authors, and Biographers International Organization. He resides in Orange, California.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Lori M for Readers' Favorite

In "Murder and Mayhem", Michael Thomas Barry presents us with 52 crimes that shocked early California in the 100 year from 1849. Taken from newspaper articles and filled with great photos from the period, the book allows us to revisit many famous and hideous crimes that occurred from around the time of the California Gold Rush until about mid-twentieth century.

I found some of the names of the killers amusing, such as Black Bart, The Tiger Woman, The Black Widow and the Fiend of Fullerton. I mean really, who comes up with these names? I also really enjoyed the photos of some of the homes, graves, and people discussed in the articles. I felt as if I was really there reading the daily newspaper getting information on the cases as they were being reported, investigated, and solved. But not all of the cases included are solved. Famous unsolved murder cases like the Black Dahlia are also included.

Barry has a style of journalistic writing that I like. He provides the details and facts, but adds color to them to make them interesting and less dry. It is no wonder there are so many great horror movies out there as our own history gives us enough gruesome real life events that we can use to shock, thrill, and entertain. Historians, murder-mystery lovers, and detective story fans will enjoy this book. Murders, bombings, heists, and kidnappings are all in there.